Your Luxuries, Our Floods
On Tuesday, December 5th, 2023, two luxury car dealerships were spray-painted in Auckland, New Zealand by the civil resistance group Restore Passenger Rail. The activists hurled red paint on the windows to the dealerships and sat down in front to await the police.
On their Twitter/X account, Restore Passenger Rail posted this: “Those buying obscenely expensive cars (up to $600,000+) are getting richer whilst fueling more floods, cyclones and droughts. Meanwhile, other people are struggling to pay their rent or dinner. This is not just.”
The RPR activists painted the phrase: “Your luxuries, our floods” on the window to one dealership in bright red, dripping paint. The result of the action was a powerful, nonviolent, visual expression of the rage of the activists against a system of extreme, murderous inequality and injustice.
One activist who used a fire hydrant filled with paint to redecorate the windows of the dealership had this to say about their action: “Why am I here? I’m here because of the injustice in society. The richest 10% are contributing to half of the emissions that are fueling climate breakdown. And the rest of us, we’re here suffering through the consequences of these luxury emissions. People have died right here in Tamaki Makaurau [Auckland, NZ] from flooding… flooding which is only getting worse because of the climate crisis. And I can’t stand by and just watch this happen. This is not the future that I want.”
The group said the following on Twitter/X about their goal: “What we wish for is safe, reliable and free public transport, cycle-friendly cities and affordable nationwide rail services. We want transport options that will not make the climate crisis worse.”
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“What are our responsibilities at this time? Because of the fossil fuel industry, we are facing horrors of a magnitude never before experienced in our existence. Our government continues to lead us to the edge of no return. We must stand up and defend ourselves. No one else is going to do it. It must be us, if we want to live.
Our methods must be disruptive, and they must be nonviolent. Our actions are evidence-based, credible, and we have a plan. The only thing missing at this point in time is YOU!”
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